Well, we made it through the first quarter of our noble experiment otherwise known as Madison attending Damien. We took this celebratory photo last Friday just before heading back home:
I know we don’t look super-excited or anything, and in a perfect world, we would have thrown a sprawling party in my classroom – for just the two of us – featuring sushi, Pokemon movies, and whatever junk food Madison is into this week because she saw it on YouTube. But that would have required more effort and energy than either of us had to give at 3:30 on the last day of the quarter. No, we had to settle for an awkward high-five and sugar-free, zero calorie drinks and tolerable traffic on the way home. I for one, did not complain.
I feel as if Madison’s behavior changed in two particular ways during the quarter. First, I think the excitement of starting something brand new got the best of her during the first two weeks of the school year. She was up early and stayed up through the drive into Kalihi, through the early morning hours, and even on the way home. In the mornings she would ask questions or express a kind of curiousness about her new situation. On the way home, she would tell me about her day. That’s all over now. She passes out as soon as we get into the car in the morning and I have to shake her awake in the parking lot. One the way home, she kicks the seat back and punctuates my podcasts with snoring. It’s nice, kind of.
She’s also leaving my classroom earlier before school and coming back later after school because she’s “hanging out”. I don’t know what this specifically means, but she’s 11 and I’m 39 so I’m not super-confident I’d understand even if she told me. She speaks in memes, man. It makes me feel like spiderman turning to dust dot gif.
But I’m sure she can tell it better than I can. So here are some of her thoughts on her first (of 28!) quarter as a Monarch. As usual, her answers will be set in her customary pink text.
Q: What is the thing about Damien that is most different from your old school?
A: Probably how insane the lunch period is. It’s way louder and you can sit by anyone you want, which is something that would never happen at my old school. I can actually eat now.
Q: How would you describe what it is like to get up so early?
A: Rough but now I’m kind of used to it because my body grudgingly wakes me up 10 minutes before [dad] comes into my room.
Q: What is the funniest thing you’ve seen at Damien so far?
A: Probably in the middle of homeroom, these kids just announced “Karen the Spider is alive again!” We found this giant spider and named it Karen. When we emptied out the trash, it was killed. So now whenever we see a random spider hanging out, its name is either Karen or Kyle.
A: I don’t know.
Q: What is the best/coolest thing you’ve learned about this quarter?
A: I learned about negative numbers. Economy. Money. Running a business.
Q: What is something you thought was going to happen but never really did?
A: I thought I was going to switch classes more. We stayed in one class at Mauka, except for music and Hawaiian class.
Q: What is something that you didn’t expect?
How advanced our computer systems are. I have a few textbooks but most of them are online textbooks.
Q: Do you like your Mac Book? What do you use it for other than school work?
A: Yeah. We’re making this “Things to Smile About” presentation – me and my friend group. We’re just doing it on our own to pass the time.
Q: Is it better or worse than you imagined? Why?
It’s a little bit of both. We have a few more freedoms – that lunch period, we can create slides, longer physical education times – than at my old school. I feel that 3:00 slump. I’m super-tired at the end of the day. That’s something I never experienced before.
Q: What do you see yourself getting involved with in the near and distant future?
A: I know next year I kinda wanna do cheerleading. Photography, maybe. That’s it so far.
From here to there, then. For now, we’ll just hope for good weather and try to enjoy fall break!